Do You Have Strong Alumni Connections?

Many sales professionals are often looking to build their close connections - those who might be able to give advice, make introductions, create speaking opportunities, and maybe even do business together. And, of course, I hope it goes without saying, being able to also give (sometimes significantly) to those in your sphere.

I get questions all of the time about targeted introductions, referrals, LinkedIn, and harnessing the power of connection. Regardless of age or tenure, these topics are absolutely top of mind right now. Especially as many sales professionals are wrapping up a crazy 2020, and planning for 2021.

This month alone, I've had the good fortune to do business with not one, not two, but three alumni connections - all working for different companies. One I've known since my university days, and I was thrilled she and I were able to connect. Another I met at an alumni business networking event many years ago, and we've stayed in touch, frequently. And yet another was "introduced" to me through a key leader in my business and what a surprise...we already knew each other!

Building Your Alumni Connections

  • Attend virtual alumni networking events

  • Join alumni groups on LinkedIn, and participate

  • Join committees, boards, fundraisers and other alumni-sponsored activities

  • Call a current school of business marketing or sales professor, ask questions, build rapport, see where it leads

  • Offer to host virtual (or in-person later) alumni networking events

  • Use LinkedIn or other resources to find formal or informal mentorship from alumni with more tenure/experience

  • Flip through your yearbook, Facebook, or other social media feeds and cross-reference your alumni connections in LinkedIn - don't forget about spouses!

  • Call your university's development or alumni office and ask questions, get involved, figure out how to make quality connections

The brainstorming list could go on and on. Just pick one or two. Try something new. Make some phone calls. Schedule things for January. Come back from the holidays ready to build your alumni connections. You will be glad you did!